First Look: A Top Chef Winner Joins the Judges Panel on Top Chef Boston

10/08/2014 at 05:30 AM ET

Aaron Rodgers Beer Cheese Soup
David Moir/Bravo

Top Chef is shipping up to Boston — and adding a new-but-familiar face for its 12th season.

For the first time, a former Top Chef winner will appear as a recurring judge: Richard Blais, who won the first Top Chef: All-Stars, joins the panel alongside returning judges Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons.

As with previous seasons, the contestants will take on culinary challenges around the host city’s famous landmarks and restaurants. Expect to see familiar settings like Boston’s Fenway Park, Plimoth Plantation and The Bull and Finch Pub (yup, that’s the inspiration for the iconic Cheers bar).

This season will also feature celebrity critique from guest judges, who include Emmy Rossum, George Wendt (Norm!), Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen and the New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski.  

Can’t wait for the Top Chef Boston season premiere on Oct. 15 (10 p.m ET)? Check out PEOPLE’s exclusive first look now.

Watch an extended first look of the season premiere on Wednesday at 11 p.m. ET after the season finale of Top Chef Duels on Bravo.

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Showing 5 comments

K.B. on

Richard Blaise and Stephanie Izard are the two most talented chefs to ever be on the Top Chef shows. I’m so glad to see Richard’s talents being utilized this way.

Anna on

I agree K.B.! Richard is amazing, and I’m so happy to see they’re keeping him around! He’s pretty hilarious too.

ugh on

Sorry k.b. and anna, i have to disagree! Although I do love izard.
Blais is so obviously desperate to be famous. It’s kinda pathetic. Im sure he’s a great cook, but his personality is so lackluster compared to most of the other top chef contestants.😦 practically anyone, except marcel, would make a better judge.

Dstone on

Worst. Tie. Ever.

Kelli on

I loved Richard from the first competition. So glad he’s joining the cast.

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